by Emaan Mujahid
I was taught to live in fear—fear of the world that lay beyond the four walls of my house. But this is not just my story—this is the story of countless women residing in Pakistan—the fourth most dangerous place in the world for females. With a soaring rate of violence against women, in 2016 the most populous of our provinces, Punjab, saw a 17% rise in rape cases and a 28% increase in honour killings, according to the Punjab gender parity report 2017. The report also stated that out of the abduction cases reported, 76% were were those of women, thus making kidnapping the most recurring crime against females in Punjab. It grieves me to say that these perturbing statistics are just one example among, the many vices females are faced with in our society.
Review by Namrata, Interview by Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
Author Chaya Bhuvaneswar was generous enough to not only give The Brown Orient the opportunity to read and review her debut collection, White Dancing Elephants, but also the chance to speak with her about the process of finishing this wonderful set of short stories, and her writing in general.
by Tara Ashraf
What’s an in-between? An in-between struggles to define herself because others always want to do it for her. It’s someone whose parents tell him he acts nothing like the people back home. Or it’s a person who can’t identify their gender, adding even more confusion to their question of where they fit.
by Namrata and Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
There is always power in raw storytelling, when the voice of truth remains audible in the world of fiction. We got to review such novel, A New Dawn, and chatted with the brilliant mind behind the work of art, Sudha Balagopal.
by D Sohi
Naming can be a spiritual journey. You discover more about yourself. You take your newborn child’s personality into account during the selection. (“Do they look like an Aaron or a Luke?”) For those belonging to the diaspora, naming is a way to continue the link to their ancestry. For my family, it was non-negotiable that I would be given a traditional name despite being born in the UK.
by Mehk Chakraborty
An unabashed feminist who is making an impact in the lives of underprivileged children and women, Fatimah Ali is among the young change makers is Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Kashmir’s visible and documented conflict that has lasted over three decades now, escalated in the past two years, has also seen a rise in armed resistance and militancy particularly among the youth. Several reports of human rights violations, disappearances of youth and civilian casualties are among some of the visible consequences of this long drawn conflict.
by D Sohi
On the 25th May 2018, Irish citizens, both at home and coming in from abroad, embarked on their journeys to voting centres amid a buzz akin to the UK’s EU Referendum and Scotland’s Independence Referendum. Abortion had become a fiercely-contested option in this religious country for decades; for this referendum, wherever there was a group of ‘Yes’ campaigners, ‘No’ lobbyists were never too far away. Although the issue of abortion in Ireland had been brewing for years, one woman – an outsider – transformed the argument over faith, morality and women’s rights.
Sometimes on lonely nights, I wonder.
In Sanskirt, there is a saying that goes "Yatra nariyastu pujayante, ramante tatara devta; yatraitastu na pujayate sarvastratraphalah kriyah." This loosely translates to “Gods reside where women are worshipped and respected, where they are not, all actions are fruitless.” Does this explain the absence of prosperity in the country?
India is the largest democracy of the world claiming to have diversity in religion. However, caste and religion are the very factors that play a huge role in the romantic lives of people living here.
Take the case of 28-year-old Samika* from Mumbai. In an interview with her, she narrates her experiences:
by Mehk Chakraborty
Gulshan Books by the Dal Lake is an experience of its own. Arriving by a shikhara, the wooden boats used by Kashmiris, on ghat 11 of the Dal Lake feels like an adventure in itself. A slow, scenic route through the waters with a bookstore in the distance is certainly the way to make an entrance here. The store cum library, located next to Srinagar’s popular Nehru Park also offers a short ferry ride to and from ghat 11, but taking a longer route by the Dal lake is something you won’t regret.
By D. Sohi, Blog Correspondent
The Windrush Generation in the UK has recently come to light, not through the retrospective lens of a historian, but an active resurgence of othering. Those who had boarded the SS Empire Windrush from the West Indies to Britain in 1948, were attracted to the offer of full citizenship suggested by the British Nationality Act of 1948. It seemed like a mutually beneficial partnership: post-war Britain’s infrastructure (National Health Service and London Transport) needed repairing and strengthening, and commonwealth “subjects” desired new opportunities.
Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram scared the daylights out of me, in the literal sense. No, it doesn’t talk about ghosts, vampires or of paranormal stuff you cannot see. It talks about the nightmares you see daily, the sexual offenders!
Sweta Vikram is a best-selling author of 11 books who believes in the power of stories. Based in New York, she writes about women and multiculturalism. Louisiana Catch is the story of Ahana who is a grieving daughter and abuse survivor who must summon the courage to run a feminist conference, trust a man she meets over the internet and escape a cat fishing stalker to find her power.
Considered to be one of the most anticipated Young Adult Debut novels of the year, Children of Blood and Bone written by Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi, is an exhilarating read. Tomi Adeyemi is a creative-writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her creative writing blog has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest. Revolving around the fantasy world of Orisha the story is based on the age old paradigm of good v/s evil and takes us to world of Zelie Adebola.
by D. Sohi
The recent van attack in Münster, Germany on 7th of April, 2018 witnessed the usual social media and press flurry: Who was the perpetrator? Which organisation did they belong to? They must be Muslim. Cue the influx of “solutions” from social media users on how to deal with this problem--unsettling solutions intimidating for any person of colour to read, particularly as those users are sympathetic to, or are aligned with, right and far-right organisations.
Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women by Deepa Narayan is an immensely powerful eye opener for every Indian woman and lives up to the claim on its cover "This book will hold a mirror to every Indian woman."
Deepa Narayan is an international poverty, gender and development adviser who has worked at the World Bank, the United Nations and in the non-government sector. She was named as 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2011 and has some seventeen books to her credit.